Frack pit hazards

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I am responding to the April 18 article “Gas Drilling Wastewater Leak Found in Amwell,” which showed the risks posed by fracking. As this story makes clear, the state’s residents desperately need the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to halt the use of dangerous fracking waste pits in the commonwealth.

Fracking wastewater is dangerous to our health, communities and our environment — containing toxic carcinogens like benzene and poisonous heavy metals like arsenic and lead; it is often contaminated with radioactive materials. The last thing we need is to put massive holding ponds the size of a football field with this toxic pollution near people’s homes and in our communities.

As this story shows, fracking wastewater pits can and often do fail. They overflow and send toxic pollution into nearby waterways or into drinking water supplies; they release harmful chemicals into the air; and in some cases, they’ve even exploded or caught fire due to the high levels of volatile chemicals found in the wastewater.

Recently, more than 15,000 individuals called on the DEP to ban these hazards. This is just one more example of why DEP should take action as soon as possible.

Fracking Program Director
Squirrel Hill

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